yumoOo
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is anyone growing potatoes?

if so what kind ? and how do you start to grow them?

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BrianSkilton
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Yes I am growing potatoes. I am growing russet and russet burbanks. I got some seed potatoes from my garden center, and I also used potatoes that had sat around for awhile and grew "eyes". I dug about a foot and a half down and spaced them 4-6 feet. Potato plants are heavy feeders and like loose soil as well. I planted my about a 1 week after the last frost. All of my plants have come up and are looking pretty good, despite the heat wave. It is important that you keep the soil temp cool, around 75ish degrees. You can harvest potatoes when you see flowers develop, these potatoes are called "new potatoes" and have a very thin skin, which doesn't need to be peeled. You can also wait for full maturity about 2-3 weeks after flowers have emerged I believe. Hope this helps.

Here is a picture: (My potatoes plants are right next to my rainbow carrots, which are far to close to them, I know)

[img]https://www.phantom360.com/Gardening/potatoes1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://www.phantom360.com/Gardening/potatoes2.jpg[/img]
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
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yumoOo
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thanks for replying. I'm going to look for potato seeds this weekend :)

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jal_ut
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I am growing one row 30 feet long. I got some seed potatoes from the nursery and cut them with one eye to a piece. I planted them about 2 inches deep using a shovel. I will later hill them up.

I told the gal at the nursery to give me 5 potatoes. :) Oh, I should mention that I will never use any part of a supermarket potato in my garden. Only certified disease free seed potatoes. This just to avoid the spread of disease.

Pontiacs.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

TZ -OH6
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I think its a bit late to start potatoes. There are several websites describing various ways to grow potatoes, so just google "growing potatoes". I have a small patch along side the house, where I dug out a trench and piled the dirt next to the house and then used the dirt later to hill up around the plants and had time to put in late season plants (beets/chard) in that area. I think I squeezed in 16 plants in a double row with seed potatoes placed every foot. I'm growing Red pontiac, Kennebec, and Blue. One of the certified seed potatoes put up virused plants so I had to pull two of them to protect the others.

2cents
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Yumo,
These are all good posts with good advise.

TZ,
I did a hugelkultur bed and am trying a get two sets of taters out of the same spot.
The leaves of the 1st set of plants are starting to brown(potatoes are ready)(Dad says they are still getting bigger let them go till leaves are all brown).
I want to plant another round of taters, but having difficulty, local feed store is out of seed potatoes(seed anything).

TZ -OH6
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Wow, my potato plants are still flowering, which means they haven't even started to form tubers yet. I planted them before the last frost, so they are not late.

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BrianSkilton
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TZ -OH6 wrote:Wow, my potato plants are still flowering, which means they haven't even started to form tubers yet. I planted them before the last frost, so they are not late.
Really TZ, I thought when they flowered that is when you can harvest "new potatoes", or is that till after the flowers die? I have never grown potatoes until this year though....so I don't know, just thought I heard that somewhere.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
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Gary350
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I get my potato seeds at the grocery store they are about 1/4 the cost of potato seeds at the garden center. It is not too late to start potatoes as long as you have about 3 months of growing season left where ever you live. We get frost here about late October. I have a place in my garden where I plant pototoes every times I peal potatoes in the kitchen and find another pototo eye growing. I planted another potato yesterday. Soil needs to be 1/3 sand, 1/3 dirt, 1/3 compost or peat moss or some type of organic material. Fertilize with Muratic of Potash and Super Phosphate or 6-12-12. I have some potatoes growing in my compost pile, they always do very well there.

Potato seeds are just potatoes. Have you ever noticed the potatoes in your pantry sometimes grow sprouts. Cut off a piece of potato with that sprout and plant it, it will grow.

I like the RED potatoes the best and they grow much better than the white potatoes for some reason, they must like this HOT Humid Tennessee weather better than the white potatoes. Sweet potatoes grow great in TN too. I hate the Yukon Gold potatoes I can't stand the taste. White Idaho and other white potatoes are good to but they don't do well in TN. When I say they don't do well what I mean is, when I lived in Illinois I could grow white potatoes the size of a grapefruit but in tennessee I am lucky it the white potatoes get the size of a tennis ball.
Last edited by Gary350 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

yumoOo
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are potato seeds easy to find ??

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applestar
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2cents, thanks for that tip from your Dad. I have some potato foliage that are starting to yellow and I'm eagerly waiting to dig them up. I've 3 eggplants and at least 1 more sw. pepper plant OR some popcorn seeds (waiting on the OTHER spot with cauliflower and carrots) that need to go in that spot! My succession planting schedule is not quite working out as I planned. :oops:

I've Cranberry Reds there, and another 2x2 spot with russet, golden, and red salad potatoed sprouted from my pantry potatoes. One plant died down, others are still green as green can be. I'm not sure if I can dig up the spot where the plant browned/died because it's right in the middle! :roll:

TZ -OH6
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This is my first year growing potatoes in the ground, before it was just a couple of plants in 5 gal buckets on the porch, but from what I've read new potatoes are ready about 3 weeks after flowering is finished.

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My first tater patch was 19 plants. A middle tater bloomed quickly at about 6 weeks. Then all the others started bloomin 2 weeks later one by one. There are few blooms left and some of the plants have begun to yellow. The first to bloom is starting to brown.

1st weekend in June(many were in bloom) we dug up 1/6 of a plant to see the new potatoes one pea sized, one dime sized and one tennis ball sized. We put them in a veggie medley. I definately will get a decent harvest.

Of course dad says leave em go till all brown. But, I want to plant more(I love to plant). So I can truthfully see if it is possible to get two full gardens in one season. An early garden and a late garden.

Of course some of the garden will always be succession style.

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My first plants were Kennebecs.

The next round was blue taters.

The next set was a mix I picked up from a local school plant sale; Blues, Russets, even a few yellow>Yukon Gold? and an odd ball red potato, and a few look like fingerlings. These have been stuffed in every odd nook and corner of the gardens.

Last purchase was a round white variety, last left at the local feed and seed.

Now I am looking for more taters. I would prefer one that will keep or store for a long time. I believe the russets do best?

All this said I have sweet taters in the ground, but I don't think they are true taters, just another root crop.

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freedhardwoods
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jal_ut wrote:Oh, I should mention that I will never use any part of a supermarket potato in my garden. Only certified disease free seed potatoes. This just to avoid the spread of disease.

Pontiacs.
Gary350 wrote:I get my potato seeds at the grocery store they are about 1/4 the cost of potato seeds at the garden center.
Potatoes from the grocery store will grow, but not nearly as well as actual seed potatoes. The potatoes in grocery stores have been sprayed with a growth inhibitor so they won't sprout (the part you eat, not the plant).

I am growing a 40' row of potatoes this year for the first time in about 20 years just to see if I can get anything. When I was a boy, my grandpa would grow lots of potatoes and they would grow very large. 8" and longer was very common. I tried growing potatoes for several years when I started gardening on my own and all I would get was a bunch the size of golf balls. Occasionally one would get as big as a baseball. I finally just gave up and quit trying. We'll see what happens. 8)

TZ -OH6
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Just because you use certified seed potatoes does not mean they cannot be diseased. One of my seed potatoes was virused, luckily I found out why it looked different from the others early on and could pull the two plants that came from it.

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freedhardwoods
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My grandpa would always grow lots of potatoes. Every spring he would use some of last years crop for seed. He never bought seed potatoes. If I was growing lots of them like he did, I would do the same thing.

TZ -OH6
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Sweet taters are true taters because they were known first, and the new world "Irish potatoes" (which should be called Chilean potatoes since they came from Chile, not Ireland) were named after them, but they are not related.


2cents, I think you might be seeing the yellowing as a result of your hugelkultur bed rather than from aging plants. Soil microbes really start to multiply and suck nitrogen out of the soil when the soil warms up if they have alot of organic matter to feed on. This would cause plants to pull nutrients from older leaves for new growth of leaves, fruit, tubers etc. But I could be wrong.

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jal_ut
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are potato seeds easy to find ??
We speak of seed potatoes, however, that is not seed, what it is is a potato. You cut the potato into pieces with an eye or two on each piece and plant the piece of potato. The eye sends out shoots and roots and you have a new plant. It is a type of vegetative reproduction.

You can find seed potatoes at some local nurseries. It is just a potato. The batch of potatoes they come from has had some planted to see if they were diseased. If the test comes out good the batch can be sold as certified seed potatoes. I never see them in the big box stores. You can also order precut and treated sets from some of the mail order catalogs. These are quite expensive.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Fingerlings in the ground; Peru Blues and Yukon Golds in my tater towers (I used old wire fencing to corral the turf from my garden addition and stuffed them down into that. Plants got huge and still sending new shoots, in flower now (the Blues sure are pretty) so I think I am in good shape...

The growth inhibitors work only for so long; the fingerlings were store boughts as I couldn't find seed taters locally (they are actually small potatoes yumoo, not really seeds. Taters won't come true from seed).

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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TZ,
These taters are about done. 2 stems are starting to brown and as I said about a month ago the new potatoes were in good shape. The Hugelkultur has lots of greens added last year and over the winter, so having a source of nitrgen, I figure is not much of an issue(my experience tells me the nitrogen robbing affect can be over blown with the way some of us add lots of greens to the mix. The neighbor says it really is looking like dirt, although deep inside the mound there are some really big sticks and big and wide wood chips. I'll be digging some taters up this evening and some tomorrow.

So what does yumoOo stand for?.......I am perplexed.

Applestar, wait a couple days and I'll let you know how mine did.

HG, the seed pod on top of the tater plants from the buds, can we plant them? Does anyone know?

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Yes, 2C, you can...

Wait until they are getting ready to drop, then take the pod and expel the seeds into a glass of water (the sinkers are the good ones). Dry them and store (freezer) until ready to plant.

TZ is correct that wood breaking down can be very nitrogen intensive, and the first few years of a hugelkultur bed might need some extra boosting. But the inherent humic and fungal quallities of wood based soils will make for a very rich and fertile soil in the long run; just know this and monitor accordingly. Fish hydrolyate is an excellent way to add nitrogen without hurting the fungal structure of soil; actually helps soil fungus unlike chemical fertilizer... 8)

HG
Scott Reil

TZ -OH6
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Scott, I have to disagree about your concern about nitrogen fertilizers harming fungi. I ammend my wood chip piles very heavily with urea based lawn fertilizer to quick compost them, and it certainly does not harm the fungi, and most obviously enhances them. Likewise when I ammend new soil (triple dig) with semi composted wood chips I add fertilizer, the mushrooms popping up out of the soil would also indicate that the fungi are not harmed, but enhanced.

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DOD was right again. Wait till the plant goes completely brown.

I started digging potatoes this weekend(a double 12 foot row). The potatoes weren't as large as I had hoped. Many were good sized as big as my fist. But there were no really big 1 lb+. So I stopped digging. I only dug up about a fourth of the plants. We can eat taters everyday for a week with the ones I picked.

My hope was to get two full harvests from the same spot. I will plant the space were I dug up the first ones. But, it will not be 2 full harvests, because the first is not quite done growing. They need another month.

Dad, told me the potatoes are still getting bigger, up until they go completely brown. Someday, I am going to figure out how much the generations before us actually know!

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Thanks for the update 2cents!
Too bad you can't get another potato harvest from the same spot (except the ones you dug early), but in another month, you could plant early maturing fall crops like turnips and lettuce, probably peas, etc.

You could also try overwintering spinach -- let grow to almost mature, then cover with floating cover until frost, then top with leaves or straw, then another layer of... uh, something... through the winter. Hmm, something like that -- I'll have to look it up again. You can do this with carrots, too, I hear. The idea is that you can harvest them from under snow, etc. through winter.

So all is not lost, and you can get that patch of land to work for you some more! :wink:

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TZ, urea is a generally accepted organic fertilizer; yes it is often synthesized , but it's nature is different from the ammonia salts I think of as chemical (and call blue goo; I think we know who I mean). While the ammonia form in urea is still somewhat water soluble, it is not the nightmare of damaged watertables and biota that the ammonia salts are.

I have used a drop of mixed-to-directions blue stuff on a microscope slide of soil biology and watched the fungal hyphae die and be consumed by the bacteria that survive (usually facultative anaerobes, and not good guys). Higher lifeforms like protozoa are also very susceptible and you can see cell walls rupturing and flagellates, amobas and ciliates dying in droves. This DOES create an ammonia release and there is usually enough nitrifying bacteria around to release the nitrogen from both the chemical and the dead bodies, but the chain ends there. The soil is no longer self-supporting; if more chemical forms of nitrogen are not applied, starvation begins... hugelkultur at least provides a lot of carbon to start storing SOME of the excess nitrogen and nutrients released in these chemical events...

It is not so much a matter of ammonia as it is salts; what happens to you if I bury you up to your neck in salt? THAT's what happens to soil biology too...

HG
Scott Reil

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Re: is anyone growing potatoes?

yumoOo wrote:if so what kind ? and how do you start to grow them?
We planted our garden late this year (mothers day - 2 weeks later). We planted mostly red potatoes but a couple of white potatoes that we had set aside in the house to grow eyes and shoots from pieces cut out of store bought potatoes. Now all of the red potatoes are up and growing nice green leaves and stalks. The tallest right now is probably about 10 - 12 inches and the smallest is just poking through. We planted them a few inches deep and mounded mulch on the top and kept them nice and moist. Sunday we removed the mulch down to the earth and mounded up rich potting soil around them. Every day I check them and add soil as they get taller. I mound the soil up so that everything is hidden except for the very top. Since the first one came up they have been growing very well.

We also have several tomatoes, string beans, broccoli, crooked neck yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, corn, carrots, cucumber, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and lettuce. Everything was planted late but are doing good so far, the corn is small and the watermelon is barely visable but they are stil alive.

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Can I reuse the seed potato?
I dug a few tater plants and one has a good looking seed potato.
It has one small eye bud about 1/20th of an inch????
Will it grow a new potato plant and will it produce?

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We have never grown potatoes before, being a little limited on space, but my husband found two old bath tubs in a vacant lot, brought them home and filled them with good dirt for me, and I planted. I think I planted some blue, some gold and some white, but I'll know for sure this Fall! This will be quite an experiment to see how they do in the bathtubs. Here in the Northwest, the summers are nice but usually not too hot, so they should not get overheated. If they work out, I'll be careful to ammend the soil early next Spring and try again, or maybe rotate another crop in. If you try this, my only advise so far is to make sure the tubs are slightly tilted toward the drain hole so you get proper drainage.
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Scott,

If cells were rupturing you were not using fertilizer salts mixed to directions because such a hyperosmotic environment would cause the cells to shrink from dehydration, not burst. Your salt analogy is a naive arguement commonly used by organocultists who either don't know or have temporarily forgotten just what a salt is. Sugar would cause the same thing to happen. There is a big difference between what is going on at the biological/physiological/molecular level, and environmental impact from misuse or, over the short term, from application. Just because you use chemical fertilizer does not mean that it is going to enter the water table, or wash down the Mississipi to contribute to the deadzone at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico any more than using oil in your car means that it is going to be poured down a storm drain and kill a gaggle of fuzzy baby ducks every time you change your oil.

There is also the arguement of scale. Repeated application of ammonia etc fertilizers on farmland does cause the extinction of the fungal community that was present when the soil formed from ancient woodland. The shift in lignin polyphenol chemical structure from woody to grassy based organic input does not help matters. But if you are adding such fertilizer to a compost pile full of woody material the fungi, even if they are killed off by the initial application, will quickly grow at the boundaries where the osmotic conditions are not so harsh and will thrive over time as the ammonia is taken up, diluted by soil water, and eventually rereleased by living and dead bacteria, because not much else can efficiently degrade lignin.

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OceanBeacher
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Hi to all you tater farmers...

I'm new to this sight and love the opportunity to participate and ask questions.

As I posted in my intro, I don't buy seeds or seed potatoes. I compost and all my potatoes come from my compost pile. All it takes are regular potatoes that have sprouted. You have to watch that the plants are healthy. Last year I got about a dozen from two Yukon Gold and several from red potatoes. The only thing was - I couldn't remember when to harvest them. I know I pulled potatoes out as late as November after adding more compost and turning my garden.

Good luck and keep us posted of your progress.

Ocean Beacher

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TZ I agree with most of your post, except for the part about the mortality: I saw what I saw. That said, it was a drop of ferts in a drop of soil water and the concentration was likely high (though mixed to direction). I'd agree that it is more a matter of consistent use, although to my recollection the Romans only salted Carthage once and we still have the results today. The issue is repeated usage, but I doubt anyone here is using blue goo just once... I'd suggest that thinking the Dead Zones springing up around our shores are caused solely by agriculture and industry is far more naive than anything I said; non-point source pollution passed those two by years ago. And water soluble nitrogen has been identified as the prime causal agent. So maybe not all fertilizer gets to the water, but depending on crops, some 50 to 70% does. More than enough reason to stop using chems...

And 2C, you can use that potato for seed...

HG
Scott Reil

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